World dairy prices jump for first time since March

World dairy prices have jumped for the first time since March, offering a glimmer of hope in still-tough markets.

The average winning price on the fortnightly Global Dairy Trade auction rose 14.8% to USD1,974/t (£1,259) – after 10 drops running.

All products except butter milk powder returned higher prices. Anhydrous milk fat led the way with a 26.6% surge, while key product whole milk powder was also up 19.1%.

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Tighter supplies were the main driver, with the 37,000t sold down 21% on the previous sale.

And prices remain just under two-thirds down on February 2014’s all-time high.

But the 177 bidders on the online sale was the highest total in 2015, which might suggest some tentative recovery in demand.

GDT results do not feed directly into UK farmgate returns but they are an important mood-setter ahead of the next round of processor price news starting next week.

AHDB Dairy called the result a “pleasant surprise” but urged caution.

“Globally supply is still plentiful but buyers may now be more interested in the market,” the levy board report said.

“The next few auctions (next one 1 September) could be crucial to whether wholesale prices react positively or not.”